Bureaucrat Beat: Smooth Tones, Back-Peddlers, and Recycled Candidates

We in the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom just learned that CBS News has removed Walter Cronkite’s voice introduction of anchor Katie Couric. Now, Morgan Freeman does the honors. We just want to proudly say that Doug Thornburg of Bishop introduces our newscast. Doug’s smooth as silk voice rivals any Hollywood celeb.

Right next to the news item on the voice thing, a story that can only make the reasonable groan. Former Illinois Governor Rod (Disgraced) Blagojevich will appear on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in March along with Donald Trump. Good Grief. Whatever happened to the fine quality of embarrassment?

Speaking of that, listen to this. In the old year, what some called an unlikely coalition – including labor, the drug and device industries and health insurance lobbyists – met with the President and other members of the Obama administration and supposedly indicated their willingness to control costs voluntarily. Shocking. But then later these groups hedged on their initial pledge, according to Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

Public Citizen reported that these groups were going to reduce cost increases by 1.5% per year which would save up to $2 trillion over 10 years. But, no, they took the initial glory and then back-peddled for all they were worth (okay, more than they were worth). Their later definition of what they really meant to say was that they had “merely agreed to work towards the eventual goal, promising no definite outcome.” Why didn’t they just say that in the first place?!? Showboats.

Up-front-and-straightforward makes for a more real life. Take LADWP. Why don’t they just say they never intend to grant a long-term lease on Bishop Airport to the County of Inyo. Instead, they drag it out, pretending they might actually reach agreement, or so it seems.

bishop_airportInyo officials have negotiated with DWP for more than 15 years to get a long-term lease just so the little county can apply for Federal Aviation grants to keep the runways and other facilities in decent shape. To move this thing off the dime, DWP and Inyo have come up with an easement that would, at least, allow Inyo to apply for FAA grants. Where’s the embarrassment factor here?

In our dreams here in the Bureaucrat Beat newsroom we imagine that DWP in Los Angeles has created a position called Eastern Sierra Liaison. This person would facilitate our reasonable needs. After all, they get the water and generated power, how about we get a shred of self-determination? Thank you.

To those who have commented about the “recycled candidates” in Mammoth Lakes, we can only say, hey, maybe it will work out, and it’s early. Stay tuned. Election-watching in Mammoth Lakes tops soap operas for sheer entertainment. The same activity in Inyo County could fill in for sleeping pills.

Governor Schwarzenegger might like to pop a few Tylenol PM these days. Seems a lawsuit filed by several unions govsrepresenting State workers reached a decision. A judge ruled that the Governor’s work-furloughs of employees whose jobs are funded by other than state dollars were illegal and did not save any money. Good grief. You mean the Gov and his gang didn’t even look at that?

It’s a no-no to cut work-time that is supposed to save money when in fact it doesn’t. Employees of the Division of Workers Compensation, the State Department of Insurance, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Public Utilities Commission and Transportation Commission are not paid from the State General Fund. So, why cut work time?

In one article on this whole mess, Scott Hauge, President of Small Business California is quoted as saying, “From a business perspective, you make cuts where they have the least impact on the business. Furloughs for State Fund employees made no sense. Cutting departments that were revenue generators makes no sense. I think the people of California want real solutions, not gimmicks.”

Yes, Mr.Hague, the real people out here do not spend a lot of time on wishes for gimmicks in government.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.

 
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